Dancing Ganesha



Ganesha is most revered deity in Indian Mythology.His typical look with the head of an elephant is his most important identity. Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and one of India's most loved deities. He is normally depicted as either standing, sitting or as dancing Ganesha .

Hindu mythology tells us that one day when Parvati went to bathe, she asked her son, Ganesha, to guard the area. When Lord Shiva returned, Ganesha refused to allow him to enter the house. Enraged, Lord Shiva beheaded his son. Later, he promised Parvati that he would bring Ganesha back to life by restoring him with the head of the first living creature he came across. This happened to be the elephant. Ganesha is, hence, the elephant god, with the body of a man and the head of an elephant. Ganesha is also called Ganapati (Lord of the Hosts), Vinayaka, Ekdanta, Heramba, Vigneshvara (The Lord Destroyer of Obstacles). The image of the dancing Ganesh is called Nritya Vinayaka.

His vehicle is the rat or mouse. This symbolizes the suppression of negative tendencies, qualities and thoughts in a person.

Ganesha is depicted as having four arms. This is because he is believed to have created the four kinds of

the four kinds of living creatures those that live on earth, those that live in water, those that live in both water and on earth, and those that fly in the air. In Ganesh Idols , the four arms usually hold four of the following: a conch shell, a discus, a sweet, an elephant goad, a lotus, a broken tusk, an axe, a noose, a necklace, the blessing pose. In idols of Ganesha in the dancing pose, the arms of the dancing Ganesha usually hold the broken tusk, elephant goad, noose and axe or hatchet.

Dancing Ganesha idols show the deity engrossed in dance. He is often seen in the typical Bharatanatyam pose: balancing on one leg, with the other raised and slightly bent at the knee. What is noticeable is the curvaceous ‘S' shape of his body. This indicates that he is moving. His arms and trunk are also held in elegant poses. In the dancing Ganesha statue or painting , we see the elephant god adorned with an intricate headdress, and beautiful jewelry that decorates his arms, neck, hips and surrounds his tusks. His jewelry indicates that he is the purveyor of good fortune and wealth.

The Hindu belief is that when Ganesha dances, he fills people's hearts with joy.

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